at the University of San Francisco
The Fromm Institute For Lifelong Learning
A BRIEF HISTORY OF RUSSIA PROF. NIKOLAUS HOHMANN
Tensions between Russia and the United States have escalated recently, and one wonders whether a new Cold War is beginning. Are the two countries inevitably adversaries? Is active cooperation ever possible or even desirable? In this survey course of 1,000 years of Russian history we will meet: Ivan the Terrible, Boris Godunov, Peter the Carpenter and Catherine the Great; Alexander I (the nemesis of Napoleon), and Nicholas & Alexandra, the tragic last tsar and his empress; then Lenin and Stalin, Khrushchev and Gorbachev; and finally a look at Vladimir Putin and the Russia of today.
FROMM INSTITUTE STUDENT ASSOCIATION
(click here for more info)
Mon., Oct 09, 2017
Class Begin 09/11/2017
Class End 11/02/2017
Make-up Week 11/06 - 9
Class Begin 01/08/2018
Class End 03/01/2018
Make-up Week 03/05 - 08
Class Begin 04/9/2018
Class End 05/031/2018
Make-up Week 06/04 - 07
Classes meet at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday - Thursday. The Fromm Institute office is open, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
FALL CLOSED CLASSES
Carcieri "The Federalist Papers"
CALIFORNIA IN A GILDED AGE: PROF. CHRIS O’SULLIVAN
GOLD RUSH TO EARTHQUAKE, 1848 – 1906
Exploring California’s history in the second half of the 19th century, this course tells the dramatic story of the key characters and events from the discovery of gold in 1848 to the 1906 earthquake. Special attention will be given to the Gold Rush era, the rise and fall of the infamous Barbary Coast, the era of the Silver Barons and the Big Four railroad tycoons, the rise of the “imperial cities” of San Francisco and Los Angeles and the emergence of a distinctive California culture, culminating in the devastating earthquake of 1906 and San Francisco’s inspiring rise from the ashes.
INTRODUCTION TO JUDAISM RABBI Stephen PEARCE
Exploring texts from biblical, inter-testamental, rabbinic, medieval, and modern periods, this course will introduce students to diverse Jewish cultural expressions and core beliefs—from God, Torah, Israel to contemporary thought; history — from the Genesis narratives to the Holocaust, the creation of the State of Israel and modern Jewish Movements; and life and holiday cycles—including the liturgical calendar and celebrations. This focus on adaptation of religion and culture to changing times and circumstances will deepen an understanding of the origins and transformative nature of Jewish identity.
PHOTOGRAPHY IN PROF. RODGER BIRT
AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE
Since 1839, when the French daguerreotype was first described in American newspaper accounts, various forms of camera-made images have been wedded to culture and society in the United States. These images made political and cultural elites familiar; they celebrated national expansion westward documented rapid urbanization; and gave individuals their first opportunity to see themselves in artistically composed portraits. Artofotography, documentary photography, amateur photography, present day camera phone photography, and photography as a field of academic investigation and cultural criticism will be among our several topics. Photographs — writing(s) with light — are texts, and I want to pursue their meanings, with the ultimate goal of discussing just what it is photographs can tell us about their makers and their audiences.
VENICE, THE VENETO AND PROF. WILLIAM EDDELMAN
THE MIDDLE EAST: DURING THE GOLDEN & SILVER AGES — 1453-1797
For 1,000 years Venice was ruled by an aristocratic oligarchy that maintained control of the Republic until 1797. This course will take you back into those centuries to explore the rich and splendorous cultural activities/lifestyles that defined that aristocratic world. With an emphasis on the Golden Age of the 16th and early 17th centuries through the Silver Age of the 18th century we’ll focus on Venetian humanistic culture and the rich “illusionistic” fantasies (myths, theatres, operas, balls, music, etc.) and some of the art and architecture. During this period Venice would eventually decline from a powerful mercantile society into a pleasure-loving, sybaritic tourist destination. Venice will be our primary focus but we’ll also move into the countryside (the Veneto) to explore the aristocratic country lifestyles of it’s villa culture, the major 16th century villas created by Palladio, their links to Rome and antiquity; and their ongoing influence throughout the following centuries. Venice must always be understood in relation to the world of the Middle East and Asia. As the major trading power in the Eastern Mediterranean, it served as the “Bazaar of Europe” and we’ll discuss these eastern influences that became an influential part of Venetian culture, shaping its final cultural aesthetic. We’ll talk about artistic figures — Bellini, Tintoretto, Tiepolo, Canaletto, Veronese, Monteverdi and Goldoni. Cultured, powerful, humanistic, artistic and mythic; Venice over the centuries has always exerted its own particular seductive spell and we’ll go back to selectively explore these vanished worlds.
NATIONALISM IN MUSIC PROF. SCOTT FOGLESONG
During the last half of the nineteenth century a wave of nationalistic fervor swept Europe and America. Music provides a superb reflection of that widespread and passionate movement, as composers increasingly turned to the native music of their own cultures for inspiration. Russia, Bohemia, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Spain, England, Poland – it seemed just about every country needed a “national” composer. We’ll take a good look at, and listen to, those wonderful composers and their vividly compelling music, not only stalwarts such as Mussorgsky, Dvořák, Grieg, and Granados, but we’ll also cast a wider net as we make the acquaintance of such lesser-known figures as Arthur Farwell (United States) and Antonio Carlos Gomes (Brazil).
FLORENCE: WITH AND WITHOUT THE MEDICI
PROF. SUNNIE EVERS
Everyone goes to Florence – drinks chianti, devours pasta, and walks the cobblestones of medieval streets and lengthy corridors crowded with ancient, medieval and renaissance art. Fifteenth-century Florence was an exciting place to be. In 1425 Florence had a population of 60,000 and was a self-governed, independent city-state. What happened to transform a sleepy medieval city into a thriving hotbed of innovation? What inspired Florentines to produce a profusion of brilliant ideas and great art, that include Brunelleschi’s dome, Botticelli’s Primavera, Leonardo’s Adoration, Michelangelo’s David and Vasari’s decoration of the monumental Salone dei Cinquecento. Florentines believed themselves to be living in a new age, “reborn” into an era of brilliance not seen since antiquity. Recently, a Harvard Business Review article claimed that “Renaissance Florence was a better model for innovation than Silicon Valley!” Innovation and talent need patrons and the Medici were extraordinary spotters of talent and patrons of creative genius, and they inspired others to follow suit. This course will take you inside the heart of Florence from its Roman foundation in the 1st century BCE to its transformation into Medici ducal court in the 16th century.
THE LAST GOOD WAR: REFIGHTING WORLD WAR II
PROF. CLAY LARGE
This course will reexamine the history and legacy of the Atlantic Theater in World War II by focusing on seminal episodes, including the Dunkirk evacuation, the Battle of Stalingrad, the murder of French Resistance leader Jean Moulin, the D-Day invasion, the botched Hitler assassination, and the Malmedy Massacre during the Battle of the Bulge. These iconic moments not only helped shape the war’s course but lived on in the postwar period as bones of further contention and acrimony among the erstwhile belligerents. Armed with the latest historical research and the advantage of hindsight, we’ll follow this trail of disputation from the wartime battlefields through the Cold War and beyond, gaining in the process a better understanding of the war and some new perspectives on the politics of our own era. William Faulkner observed that the “past is never dead; it is not even past.” So it is with “The Last Good War.”
THE EARLY ROMANTICS
Presented Under the Auspices of the Barbara Fromm Chair in Classical Music
The first half of the nineteenth century saw a generation of composers who were celebrated not only in their own time but still continue to be beloved today. Consider their names: Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Fredéric Chopin, Felix Mendelssohn, Franz Liszt, Hector Berlioz. They join with the efflorescence of wonderful opera composers such as Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini—and early Verdi. Some of the less-remembered figures such as Weber, Spohr, Moscheles, and Meyerbeer round out what should be a delightful romp through a dearly-loved and justly valued era of music.
FROM ROMULUS TO THE END OF THE WORLD:
A HISTORY OF THE ROMAN REPUBLIC AND ROMAN EMPIRE
Prof. Nikolaus Hohmann
An Empire before there was an Emperor, and an Emperor who led a Republic — the history of ancient Rome is filled with surprising developments and astonishing people who created one of the most successful states and one of the most influential cultures in World History. The Roman world became a major foundation for the nations of Western Civilization and inspired emulation by countless leaders across the centuries, including the men and women who created the American Republic. In a rollicking ride across 1,000 years from Romulus to Ruin, we will meet some of the most famous personalities in history and be entertained by their heroics, their antics, by their thought-provoking words and their remarkable achievements.
The Roberts Court and the First Amendment
Prof. William Turner
The year 2015 was the 10th anniversary of John Roberts’ appointment as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The decade saw several remarkable, momentous, free speech decisions. Citizens United was the most notorious, but also the most misunderstood decision of all time. The Court decided more First Amendment cases than any previous court, and Chief Justice Roberts personally authored many of them. The Roberts Court confronted free speech issues involving national security, funeral protests, violent video games, “indecency” on television, the rights of high school students, abortion buffer zones, a “constitutional right to lie” about military service, and confederate flags on license plates. The course begins with the composition, personnel and practices of the Roberts Court, and then discusses the Court’s most important free speech decisions. We’ll assess how the Court has advanced/diminished free speech values, and consider what effect the absence of Justice Scalia will have on its approach to the First Amendment.
Puccini Please: The Life, Times, And Music of the World’s Favorite Opera Composer
Prof. Clifford “kip” Cranna
PRESENTED UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE VICTOR MARCUS CHAIR IN OPERA STUDIES
Opera fans love Giacomo Puccini. The last of the great Italian opera composers, he never fails to thrill us with his soaring melodies or to move us with his pathos. But let’s a take a closer look at Puccini’s world and discover what lies behind the music, as we watch Puccini evolve from a composer in the grand tradition of Italian opera into a ground-breaking exponent of supercharged post-Romantic “verismo.” We’ll search for the real people and true stories behind his operas, and uncover fascinating details about Puccini’s, often tumultuous, career. We’ll investigate his life and art in their historical context and use video examples to examine in detail his emotionally stirring music dramas. No previous opera background required. Just watch, listen, and enjoy.
URGENT ISSUES, EVERYDAY POLITICS: DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL POLICY ISSUES IN THE MIDST OF NATIONAL ELECTIONS
PROF. DAVID PERITZ
As we lurch toward another national election, there is a deficit of serious political discourse despite a surfeit of issues. Internationally, the Islamic State’s pivot toward the ‘far enemy’, the on-going bloodletting in Syria, an increasingly assertive China and Russia, the failure of the Arab awakening, and the inexorable advance of global climate change — all speak to dangerous times and America’s weakened capacity to influence world affairs. Domestically, partisan polarization makes it difficult for the nation to coalesce around even the most urgent political issues. Can the national elections focus political attention on these serious issues, perhaps even generating the will to address them, or will our politics fall short of the urgency of the moment? This course will examine the policy issues at stake and survey potential solutions — always considering their political viability.
HISTORY OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, 1789-2016
PROF. CHRIS O’SULLIVAN
This course will take us on an entertaining journey through the history of American presidential elections, from the unopposed selection of George Washington in 1789, to the tumultuous election of 2016. Of the nearly sixty presidential elections since Washington’s, all are compelling, yet several stand out for their drama and consequences. Bringing the spectacle of these contests to life, exploring the personalities, strategies, and historical consequences, this course reveals that presidential campaigns have always been tenaciously contested and often nasty, yet they reveal much about our history and ourselves.
HISTORY OF ISLAM, PART ONE — origins & zenith
PROF. NIKOLAUS HOHMANN
In this ﬁrst part of two, we will look at the ancient city of Mecca and the timeless world of Arabia. Other topics will include: Mohammed, the new prophet of old teachings; the Successors — conquest, schism, and conversion; the marvels of the Caliphate as a Muslim world empire at its zenith; the wars of brothers and the collapse of the Caliphate; the Old Man of the Mountain and the Assassins and, Moghul India and new traumas for the Hindu world. Throughout this study our primary focus will be on understanding the Islam of today.
History oF islam, Part tWo — islam in thE modErn World
In this second part of two we’ll look at The Ottoman Empire (the 2nd Caliphate) and its disintegration — the birth of modern crises. Our case studies will be: Iran (the Shah and the Ayatollahs); Iraq (Saddam Hussein, the Gulf Wars, the aftermath); Syria and the new Islamic state (ISL) movement; Saudi Arabia and Yemen and lastly Israel, Egypt, and the Palestinians.
JErusalEm: history, rEligion, Politics
ProF. John rothmann
This course will give a comprehensive historical overview, a religious view from Islamic, Christian and Jewish perspectives and ﬁnally a full political evaluation from all points of view! Is there a solution? We will try to answer that question at the end of the class.
ProF. scott FoglEsong
Presented Under the Auspices of the Barbara Fromm Chair in Classical Music
Johannes Brahms, the great classicist of the later 19th century, created an imposing body of work that covers every genre of his era except for opera. Whether symphonies, concertos, orchestral works, chamber works, sonatas, solo pieces, art songs, or choral works, Brahms bequeathed precious gifts to posterity. We’ll ﬁnd out about him, his career, his world, his friends, his colleagues. Most importantly, we’ll explore his music in all its variety, depth, and radiance.
thE British musE
ProF. scott FoglEsong
Presented Under the Auspices of the Barbara Fromm Chair in Classical Music
The land without music, it was called. But it wasn’t true. England was, and is, abundantly gifted with music and with ﬁne composers—as are Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the rest of the Commonwealth. We’ll start with Elizabethans such as Tallis and Byrd, exult in Henry Purcell’s glorious (but sadly brief) career, visit England’s cherished adopted son Handel, then explore the 19th century musical Renaissance with Parry, Stanford, and Elgar. From there it’s on to the 20th century with Vaughan Williams, Britten, Walton, Bax, and others who stood as rare sentinels of sanity amidst a century of musical chaos.
ARCHEOLOGY & THE BIBLE
ProF. Patrick Hunt
Archaeology is the study of the past based on what survives from material culture. As is, the discipline as variously practiced will always be based on fragmentary knowledge from ﬁnds and not necessarily in agreement with ancient texts, especially those considered by some as scripture. How closely do traditions, text and material history match or not? Often considered mythological, here we examine the possible contexts for Moses and literary events like the Exodus as well as David, Solomon, Ahab, Hezekiah and sites of ancient Israel like Jerusalem, Beer Sheba and Megiddo that archaeology continues to reveal along with contemporary cultures like ancient Egypt, Assyria and Babylon, acknowledging diﬀerent points of view ranging from minimalism to maximalism.
alta caliFornia: thE lost history oF a BygonE ProvincE
ProF. chris o’sullivan
California’s history is undergoing constant reconsideration, as fresh discoveries and innovative research reveal new perspectives on the past and challenge old assumptions. This course will explore the saga of California history from its distinctive geography and the rich diversity of Indian life, to the discovery of gold in 1848. Special attention will be given to the California Indians; Spanish, English, and Russian exploration; the Spanish and Mexican eras; American interest in California; the legendary Bear Flag Revolt; the Mexican-American War in California; and the beginnings of the Gold Rush era.
DIFFICULT DILEMMAS: SOCIAL/POLITICAL PROBLEMS THAT CHALLENGE OUR LEGAL SYSTEM
PROF. CURTIS CATON
This course will explore a series of contemporary topics that pose stark policy choices involving legal, moral and financial complications for our society. The challenging subjects will include: poverty, homelessness and the civil legal representation of the poor; immigration, asylum and social welfare; terrorism and due process; ethical constraints for judges and lawyers; business economics vs. environmental sensitivity; drugs, prisons and the purposes of punishment; health care and the limits of congressional power; and weapons of limited destruction.
ROMANCE & GRANDUEROF RUSSIAN OPERA
PROF. JAMES KEOLKER
Presented Under the Victor Marcus Chair in Opera Studies
There is a sonic splendor in Russian opera like no other, so we will explore the epic sounds of Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov” and Borodin’s “Prince Igor,” examine the opulent orchestration of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Czar Saltan,” “Sadko” and “Coq d’Or,” thrill to the romantic melodies of Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” and “The Queen of Spades,” laugh at the brilliant characterizations of Shostakovich’s “Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk,” and consider the profundity of Prokofiev’s “War and Peace.”
Those new to opera as well as those more experienced are most welcome.
BEYOND THE BORGIAS
PROF. ALBERT JONSEN
The Borgia name has become synonymous with the debased standards of the Papacy of the Roman Catholic Church at the conclusion of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th centuries. While the arts and education flourished under the reign of Alexander VI, so did the abuses of power and corruption of religious authority. Against an evolving backdrop of ecclesiastical graft and clerical indulgence emerged the movement we call the Reformation and the creation of new national Protestant churches. This course will look beyond the time of this Italian papacy and examine the dissolution of Christian unity in Europe. It will review the Protestant movement and the reforms to the Catholic Church that these turbulent times evoked.
BEtWEEn tWo FirEs: EuroPEan Politics, culturE & sociEty in thE 20s and 30s
ProF. david clay largE
In the decades following World War I, Europeans, along with the rest of the world, desperately hoped for a prolonged peace, economic recovery, and social healing. Instead they got the rise of murderous dictatorships, social strife, and the most catastrophic economic meltdown the modern world had ever seen. Yet at the same time there were brief moments of economic promise, as well as sustained technological progress and tremendous cultural achievement. This course oﬀers a comprehensive re-examination, based on the latest research, of the tumultuous years separating the two world wars. To better illuminate the European situation, the lectures will include occasional comparative glances at developments elsewhere, especially in the USA.
Famous trials & trial lawyers
PROF. CURTIS CATON
High drama and enduring social lessons emerge from many cases that don’t always become the subject of Supreme Court opinions. We’ll focus on the trial process and its players — judge, jury, litigants and their counsel — against the historical backdrop of contentious issues like the “Red Scare” (Sacco/Vanzetti and the Rosenbergs); race (O.J. Simpson); and the defenses of insanity and diminished capacity (Leopold/Loeb and Dan White, the killer of Moscone and Milk). Memorable “test cases” will also be examined: the Scopes Monkey Trial (religious fundamentalism vs. evolution) and the recent challenge to Proposition 8’s ban on same-sex marriage in California. And we’ll highlight the talents of trial lawyers, some long forgotten and others as legendary as Abraham Lincoln.
DONIZETTI’S DAZZLING OPERAS
PROF. JAMES KEOLKER
Presented Under the Victor Marcus Chair in Opera Studies
While born into the darkest poverty, Donizetti rose to become one of the most proliﬁc and imaginative composers of the golden age of Italian opera. We will explore his most dazzling and melodic operas, among them “Anna Bolena,” “Lucrezia Borgia,” and “Lucia di Lammermoor” as well as his tune-ﬁlled comedies, “The Elixir of Love,” “Daughter of the Regiment,” and “Don Pasquale.” In addition, we will discuss his rarely heard but sensational “Imelda d’Lambertazzi,” “The Siege of Calais,” “Poliuto,” “Maria Padilla,” “Linda di Chamounix,” “La Favorite, Rosmonda d’Inghilterra” and “Dôm Sébastien.” This class is designed for those new to opera as well as those more experienced.
FROMM INSTITUTE DOCUMENTARY FILM
This is a story about a dream university for the retired, founded by two people — a man who told his wife he never wanted to retire and the wife who carried his dream school forward and made it work — Alfred and Hanna Fromm. “Old Enough to Know Better” tells the real story of seven “older people” who are students or teachers in the Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning at USF; the school one of them calls a “school for the sages.” Here there are no exams, no grades, and no graduation. These people who could relax in their retirement, go back to college because it brings them back to life. And in their “second lives” they seize the chance to learn about subjects they always wanted to pursue. They do it for pure pleasure, for the joy of it. And they do it to take control of their aging. This ﬁlm appeals to all people searching for meaning in their later years and encourages a younger generation to pursue lifelong learning as a way of “saging” not just aging. As society prepares for a growing, graying population, “Old Enough To Know Better” presents an inspiring and positive way for older people to live again and participate in the 21st century.
OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER
DIRECTED BY RON LEVACO
Hamilton, The Musical
PROF. JONATHAN BAILEY
The New York Times has noted “It’s one of the most talked about Broadway shows since “The Book of Mormon.” Why? It’s a theatrical rarity: a critically acclaimed work, written by a young composer. That it’s told through the language and rhythms of hip-hop and R&B — genres that remain mostly foreign to the musical theater tradition — has put it in contention to redefine what an American musical can look and sound like.” Tune in to a favorite Fromm Institute faculty member who’ll ask (and answer) the question “What’s all the fuss about “Hamilton?”
Alexander Hamilton, The Man, Myth and Legend
PROF. CHRISTOPHER O'SULLIVAN
While the Washington Monument commemorates the man Alexander Hamilton so loyally served, and the Jefferson Memorial honors the man he so vigorously opposed, there are no grandiose monuments to Hamilton on the National Mall, or elsewhere. Instead, he graces the ten-dollar bill, perhaps appropriately, as Hamilton’s true monument was the financial system he created. Professor Chris O’Sullivan will lead us on a journey deep into the life and legacy of this least understood of the Founding Fathers, exploring why Hamilton provoked so much controversy, and how his historical reputation has fluctuated so wildly since his tragic death, in a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr, in 1804.
The Obama Years: History & Hope
Prof. John Rothmann
The dramatic years of the Obama presidency are about to conclude. This lecture examines the ups and downs of his time in office. In the last eight years, President Obama has had a tremendous impact on America and the world. Prof. Rothmann will describe his major triumphs and the failures, both at home and abroad. How will Obama be judged by history? How has his presidency affected our lives? If Obama had been able to run for re-election would he have won? All of these questions will be explored as we examine the two terms of our 44th President.
READING SHAKESPEARE: DIFFICULTIES AND DELIGHTS
PROF. MANFRED WOLF
This fifty-minute lecture aims to explain what difficulties beginning readers of Shakespeare confront, how they can be overcome, and what pleasures await them. Shakespeare’s style can pose a particular problem for beginning readers, but once some features of this style are clear, newcomers to his work will learn to see how its many facets provide many pleasures. Language, style, and some remarks about Shakespeare’s theatre and his time seek to round out a picture of the man and, hopefully, give glimpses of his greatness.
THE OPTICS OF DESTRUCTION
PROF. RODGER BIRT
In this presentation we’ll investigate the relationship between a group of photographs, made in the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and selected Renaissance depictions of Roman ruins in Italy. Arnold Genthe (1869-1942) took the photographs, and various artists made the prints. How the examination of images of ruins helps to explicate certain aspects of human history is the unifying theme of the presentation. All visual materials are from the permanent collection in the Achenbach Foundation at the Palace of Legion of Honor, San Francisco.
FIFTY SHADES OF BLACK: POWER, STYLE, MYSTERY & BONDAGE
PROF. WILLIAM EDDELMAN
The color black was there at the very beginning. For thousands of years black has been associated with certain aspects of clothing. It is very ubiquitous: powerful, humbling, “self-negating”, erotic, elegant, luxurious and destructive. Often associated with evil, sin, the devil and mourning; it has also stood for positive meanings: temperance, humility and asceticism. So it can be both pious and perverse, sacred and profane. The lecture explores black in relation to certain moments of historical fashion and the various ways that black is expressed today. How does it relate to the body? What does it expose, reveal or cover? What black fabrics are used? What are the social and symbolic references that are expressed? A question: Are you ready to clothe yourself in black and if so, why?
FROMM ON FILM
PROF. JAN WAHL
These short (15 minute) takes on cinema from the Bay Area’s hatted Hollywood historian and critic — and Fromm Institute ‘star’ professor — encompass eight topics in a way that are both effervescent and evocative. Explore “The Best” and “The Worst”of 2016. Watch as Jan Wahl guides you to “Stars Who Should Have Won An Oscar” “Great Movie Locations,” “Music in the Movies,” “Real to Reel,” “Movie Laughter,” “Sports on Film” and “Politics on the Big Screen.” Enjoy her views and revisit some classic (and not so classic) moments from the silver screen.
The Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning - University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton St - San Francisco, CA 94117-1080